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The enduring, hard-touring, and self-caricaturing rock group Cheap Trick worked its way up to platinum sales with an explosive fusion of Beatlesque melodic hooks, Who-styled crunching power chords, and a flair for the absurd. Cheap Trick is one of the best live bands of its era. For all of the gimmickry (best epitomized by Rick Nielson's pick showers and trademark outlandish guitars, such as the quintuple-neck checkered monster he breaks out on "Surrender"), Cheap Trick live is uniformly tight, as blistering and raw as it is cunningly melodic.
Though Cheap Trick's most visible recent moves-- re-recording Big Star's "In the Street" for That '70s Show, performing the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety at a 2007 Hollywood Bowl concert-- may paint them as a nostalgia act, their influence on contemporary indie/alt-rock is as pronounced as ever: For the Foo Fighters, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, Ted Leo, the Raconteurs-- basically any band that's ever tried to weld a Beatlesque melody to a power chord-- all roads lead back to Cheap Trick.
After more than 5,000 performances, 20 million records sold, 29 movie soundtracks and 40 gold and platinum recording awards, the band was honored by the NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) for their contributions to the music industry.
In short, Cheap Trick revel in taboo subjects with abandon, devoting themselves to the power of the hook, as well as sheer volume and gut-wrenching rock & roll making them one of the defining bands of their era, as well as one of the most influential. But in the end, Cheap Trick won their fans and fame the honest way: through incessant touring in support of era-defining anthems like "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me" earning their status as rock 'n' roll royalty.